Body iron distribution plays a role in the development of atherosclerosis

pasfoto.png

Results of a study of Tessel Galesloot and colleagues suggest that body iron distribution plays a role in the development of atherosclerosis.

According to the iron hypothesis, iron deficiency plays a protective role against cardiovascular disease. Until now, however, epidemiological studies on associations between body iron stores and cardiovascular risk remain inconclusive. The peptide hormone hepcidin, central regulatory molecule of systemic iron homeostasis, was hypothesized to play a role in cardiovascular disease. In this study, the Radboudumc researchers assessed the associations between hepcidin and iron parameters with noninvasive measurements of atherosclerosis in men and women of a population-based cohort. They demonstrated an association of serum hepcidin and hepcidin/ferritin ratio with atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women of a general population. The results suggest that it is the body iron distribution as determined by serum hepcidin and its ratio to ferritin instead of the total body iron load that play a role in the development of atherosclerosis, indicating hepcidin as a potential novel biomarker and therapeutic target for cardiovascular disease.

Galesloot TE, Holewijn S, Kiemeney LA, de Graaf J, Vermeulen SH, Swinkels DW. Serum hepcidin is associated with presence of plaque in postmenopausal women of a general population. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014;34:446-456.


<< back to overview news items